NTU attends DG INTPA conference

12th of July, 2023

NTU International had the privilege of attending a DG INTPA conference titled "What have we learned? Seven years of research on migration and displacement in the Horn of Africa" on July 11th. This conference delved into a comprehensive study conducted by the Research and Evidence Facility (REF) team in collaboration with Samuel Hall, focusing on the intricate dynamics of migration and displacement in the region.

The study aimed to assess the multifaceted factors that impact displacement patterns, as well as the challenges and opportunities for sustainable return and reintegration within and to South Sudan. Extensive fieldwork was conducted in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, shedding light on the individual, community, and structural elements at play.

A crucial highlight of the conference was the identification of key obstacles to successful reintegration. These included food insecurity, limited access to education and healthcare, concerns regarding physical safety, livelihood limitations, and difficulties surrounding housing, land, and property rights. These challenges underscored the need for comprehensive strategies and collective efforts to address them effectively.

To guide future actions, the conference put forth a set of recommendations. For example, integrating provisions for cross-border mobility in regional plans for durable solutions was deemed essential to enable safe circular mobility. The importance of investing in area-based, community-driven peace and development initiatives was also stressed. Promoting Housing, Land, and Property (HLP) policies and programs, developing responses that support the specific needs of women and youth, and committing to a nexus approach linking humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding needs were among the recommendations put forth.

The intersection of climate change, migration, and mobility also received attention. It was observed that climate and migration policies often operate in isolation, with an insufficient understanding of mobility as an adaptation to climate change. Short-distance movement towards urban centers was noted while maintaining strong ties to rural communities.

Furthermore, the conference highlighted the significance of perceiving migration and mobility as integral and positive aspects of social life in the Horn of Africa. Migration was acknowledged as a potential outcome of development, calling for the inclusion of mobility in development theory and practice. The authors of the study urged attendees to refrain from perceiving migration and displacement as problems to be solved through settlement. Instead, they emphasized embracing migration and mobility while striving to create optimal conditions for safe migration. The importance of breaking down complex questions about migration and development was emphasized to generate evidence that can inform fresh thinking and drive positive change.

At NTU International, we remain dedicated to engaging in meaningful dialogues and knowledge sharing to contribute to sustainable solutions in the field of migration and displacement. By collaborating with experts and stakeholders, we aspire to be at the forefront of developing comprehensive strategies that address the challenges while embracing the potential of migration and mobility.